American English

Definition of silent adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(of a person) not speaking to remain/stay/keep silent They huddled together in silent groups. As the curtain rose, the audience fell silent. He gave me the silent treatment (= did not speak to me because he was angry).
  2. 2[only before noun] (especially of a man) not talking very much synonym quiet He's the strong silent type.
  3. 3where there is little or no sound; making little or no sound synonym quiet At last the traffic fell silent. The streets were silent and deserted.
  4. 4[only before noun] not expressed with words or sound a silent prayer/protest They nodded in silent agreement.
  5. 5silent (on/about something) not giving information about something; refusing to speak about something The report is strangely silent on this issue. the right to remain silent (= the legal right not to say anything when you are arrested)
  6. 6[only before noun] (of old movies) with pictures but no sound a silent movie/film stars of the silent screen
  7. 7(of a letter in a word) written but not pronounced The “b” in “lamb” is silent.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: silent